B. Why a Uniform
A distinctive uniform worn with pride, dignity, and demeanor promotes
the ideals of the organization it represents. The National Park Service
uniform immediately identifies the wearer as a representative of a
Service whose employees have dedicated themselves to preserving the
superlative natural, cultural, and recreational areas of the United
States and pre senting them in a manner which brings appreciation and
enjoyment through understanding.
The performance of the people who have worn this uniform for more
than a half a century had earned the Service an enviable reputation,
nationally and internationally.
The roles of the Service are now projected into many large cities,
and the public image there should reflect the many fine traditions,
which have been established and are associated with the present uniform.
Thus, the image would be the same whether it be in Alaska, Wyoming, or
The reputation and the tradition symbolized by the uniform has
created a cohesive organization with a high esprit de corps, and the
wearer will find a public recognition which will facilitate doing his
job in an effective, efficient manner.
C. Who Shall Wear a Uniform
D. When is a Uniform Worn
E. Standards of Appearance When Wearing the National Park Service
The National Park Service is a people serving organization, managing
our Nation's natural and cultural heritage for their inspiration,
benefit, and enjoyment, now and in the future. Our uniform is a badge of
our identity by which the visitor may seek services and information from
our receptionists, interpreters, and maintenance personnel who are
regularly working in the "public eye." For this reason, everyone who
wears the uniform should wear it with pride and should make every effort
to maintain a neat appearance
The NPS training booklet, Say Ranger, says this about wearing
"your uniform tells people you are a member of the National Park
Service. It gives you a sort of 'foundation personality' to build
"One can't slouch attractively in a uniform. So Don't try. Somehow,
uniforms seem cut for individuals who hold heads up and shoulders back.
Strangely enough, humans look better that way. Especially you. Poised.
Vital.. Ready for Come-what-may.
"Uniforms do save a lot of decisions about what to wear. But they do
not save on
(a) cleaning and laundry bills;
(b) personal grooming.
"To speak more pointedly: while with his ears the visitor hangs on to
your every word, he's also zeroing in with eyes and nose. Under certain
circumstances, honest sweat is encouraged. It's the aftermath that cause
people to sidle away from you. As the TV commercials say, "Never risk
offending." It is easy to offend without knowing. Keep a clean shirt on
hand at the shop for emergencies.
"Nothing fits with a uniform except the articles listed below in the
National Park Service Uniform Standards. No feathers, no white socks,
please. Conversely, what's worn must be worn right; fabric pressed and
unfrayed, tie straight, leather gear and metalwork gleaming.
"Obviously, since uniform allowances are provided, they are to be
spent, but only spent on uniforms. You may love that battered old
Stetson, but the public will never understand what you two mean to each
other. Get a new one.
"Try to see yourself through the visitor's eyes, and be sure that
self-regard doesn't dull the critique.
Your appearance in uniform will be satisfactory when standards are
maintained as follows:
|Hat:||The Stetson hat is the hallmark of the
Park Ranger. Since the woman's hat is made in the same style, the same
extra care is required to keep this item in proper condition. The brim
must be kept flat and free from oily fingerprints. It should be
professionally cleaned and blocked at regular intervals.|
|Dress, Tunic, Slacks, and Culottes:||must be
clean and neat. If washed properly, the fabric should not require
ironing, but may need "touch-up" pressing to remove wrinkles. Care
should be exercised to prevent getting makeup on the white neckline
trim. All garments must be the prescribed length as stated in the
uniform standards below. Alt fastenings must be closed when the garment
|Hose:||must be worn with all prescribed
uniforms. Should be beige neutral tone stockings or
|Shoes and all leather:||must be kept clean,
polished, and in good condition.|
|Accessories:||Those items prescribed as
optional accessories must conform to the prescribed color and style.
They must be kept clean and in good repair. Care must be used in the
selection of jewelry as allowed in the standards. Conspicuous or ornate
rings are not consistent with the intent of the standards.|
WOMEN (age 25 and over)
WEIGHT IN POUND (in indoor clothing)
|(in shoes) |
Frame||Medium Frame||Large Frame|
Each employee authorized to wear the uniform must be well groomed and
ensure that her personal appearance at all times reflects credit upon
herself and the National Park Service. Supervisors are responsible for
the general appearance of their uniformed personnel. Employees may be
denied the privilege of wearing the uniform when their personal
appearance reflects adversely upon the Service or other uniformed
Although not a uniform item, sunglasses are often desirable in many
outdoor situations. To avoid undue public criticism and to present a
more sophisticated appearance, the wearer should select conservative
style frames and lenses. Reflective lenses shall not be worn because
this prevents the eye-to-eye contact with visitors and fellow
Hair should be neat and simply styled to go with the hat. Makeup
should convey a healthy natural appearance. Every uniformed employee
will endeavor to maintain her weight in an appropriate ratio between
height and weight as recommended in the weight chart. Every uniformed
employee in the Service will be weighed every six months. The
distribution of weight over the frame of any individual should be such
that it does not detract from the appearance of that person while in
uniform. This could mean that the weight of the per son might correspond
to the height-weight chart and yet the appearance could be such to
require counseling by the Superintendent concerning her overall
appearance. An individual exceeding the maximum weight standards might
because of her weight distribution, possibly attributed to physical
activity or body conditioning, present an acceptable appearance while in
uniform. Normally this should not exceed 10 pounds over the maximum
considering the body frame. All other employees who do not fall within
the weight chart except as indicated above will be counseled by the
Superintendent, and if appropriate, the employee would consult her
personal physician for medical advice.
The appearance and dress of uniformed employees are the
responsibility of both the employee and her supervisor and any problem
in these areas should be resolved at the supervisor-employee level.
Superintendents may take employees out of uniform when, in their
opinion, the employees's personal appearance detracts from the uniform
and what it symbolizes.
II. Uniform Standards - Women
1. To provide uniformity in the appearance of National Park Service
personnel who are in direct contact with and/or in view of the visiting
B. General Guidelines
1. A Uniform Committee, appointed by the Director, shall periodically
evaluate suggestions and recommendations concerning the uniform.
2. The items of uniform an employee shall possess and wear shall be
(1) the duties to be performed.
(2) the climate conditions encountered or the work situation of her
C. Women's Dress Uniform
The women's dress uniform is a departure from the traditional forest
green and now embraces the environment the colors of earth and
sand, air and snow, and the sun. The dress hat serves as the link to the
past and the male counterpart and as initial identification for the park
All permanent personnel authorized to wear the dress uniform will
possess all items of the basic dress uniform as a minimum.
1. Basic Dress Uniform
a. Dress, tan with white trim, small arrowhead patch on right front
b. Jacket, tan, small arrowhead patch on right front bodice.
c. Hat, felt.
d. Shoes, tan to light brown, simple comfortable style with 1-1/2 or
e. Nametag, gold, to be worn above arrowhead patch.
2. Classes of Uniform
The following classes of uniform are intended to provide flexibility
by prescribing the appropriate uniform for each area and climatic
conditions. Superintendents may prescribe in their local uniform code
any class of dress uniform which best fits the needs of his personnel
with regard to appearance, comfort, and duty assignment. Where possible,
all uniformed personnel of an area should be in the same class of dress
uniform. This may not always be practical.
a. Class A (Basic)
The Class A dress uniform is the basic uniform. It shall be worn for
all formal and semiformal occasions, at social functions, for all
official contacts outside the ar ea, and on other occasions as
prescribed by the Superintendent. On ceremonial occasions, the scarf and
gloves will be worn. If carried, a handbag should meet the criteria as
prescribed in these standards. (Note: Discretion is urged in determining
the use of the hat. It is not recommended for indoor use.)
b. Class B (Warm Weather)
The Class B dress uniform shall consist of the basic uniform without
the jacket. The straw hat may be authorized in lieu of the felt hat. The
Class B dress uniform may be worn for all occasions when climatic
conditions dictate. For ceremonial occasions, the scarf and gloves will
c. Class C (Cool Weather)
The Class C dress uniform consists of the basic uniform as described
above except that the tunic-slacks or tunic-culottes may be worn in
place of the dress and boots may be worn in place of shoes. The Class C
uniform may be worn for all occasions within the park as prescribed by
d. Class D (Warm Weather)
The Class D dress uniform will consist of the same items as the Class
C except that the jacket will not be worn.
e. Class E
The Class E dress uniform consists of the tunic-slacks, insulated
parka, boots, and scarf hat. The Class E dress uniform may be authorized
for those areas subject to persistent winter conditions. It may be worn
for all occasions except those prescribed for the Class A dress
f. Class F
The Class F dress uniform will consist of the tunic jeans, felt, or
straw hat, depending upon the seasons, shoes or boots, depending upon
the terrain. The Class F dress uniform will be worn only in those
situations where rough terrain or hazardous conditions exist. The parka
may be worn in cold weather.
3. Dress Uniform Chart
The following chart indicates the various items to be worn with each
class of the dress uniform. Accessory items must be of the prescribed
|m.||Coat||X||(as needed for
warmth or rain)|
|s.||Rainhat Cover||(as needed)|
x - required
O - optional, but prescribed type
O' - When climatic conditions dictate and all employees are the same
a. Dress - A-line style, tan double knit polyester fabric with
white neckline and sleeve trim. A white belt of the same fabric is
optional by the individual employee; long back zipper; a small arrowhead
patch is sewn to the right front of the bodice. Hemline to be worn in
moderate, conservative style, subject to fashion changes. Present length
to be no shorter than one (1) inch above the knee.
b. Jacket - tan double knit polyester fabric with self-trim
button front with matching buttons, fully lined. Small arrowhead patch
to be sewn to the right front bodice.
c. Tunic - tan double knit polyester fabric with white
neckline and sleeve trim. A full length zipper opens down left front. A
small arrowhead patch to be sewn to the right front bodice.
d. Slacks - tan double knit polyester fabric. Elastic waist
band. Slack length should slope from front instep to about 1-1/4 inch
from ground at heel.
e. Culottes - tan double knit polyester fabric with front and
back side panels. Length to be no shorter than one (1) inch above the
f. Shoes - should be simple in styling and have a comfortable
heel. Color should be beige or tan to light brown in same color family
as basic uniform, smooth or lightly grained leather (not suede or
g. Boots - should be simple in styling, comfortable and for
winter should have warm lining. Again, color should be beige or tan to
light brown in same color family as basic uniform in smooth or lightly
grained leather (not suede or reptile). Work boots should coordinate as
nearly as possible.
h. Hat - Tan hard-brimmed felt with grosgrain band and
detachable chin strap, also of grosgrain. (Straw hat description to be
provided at a later date; specifications not firm at this time.)
i. Handbag - Matching color to shoes leather for
winter, straw or fabric for summer.
j. Gloves - White or beige short gloves should be worn with
Class A, Class B, and Class C dress uniform when prescribed. Warm gloves
in dark brown may be worn with Class E dress uniform and when the coat
k. Scarf - 32" x 32" square; 100 percent polyester twill;
white background with National Park Service motif and orange border. It
is worn as prescribed for ceremonial affairs. It is also an optional
accessory and may be worn at the neckline or as an extra head covering
for warmth or in windy weather.
l. Scarf Hat - Soft beret, 100 percent cotton broadcloth with
vinyl coating with National Park Service motif. To be worn for bad
weather head cover. It is packable and dries rapidly.
m. Coat - A beige poplin classic coat with a zip-in liner. No
other outer coat may be worn with the uniform items except as noted in
Class E and F uniforms.
n. Sweater - A cardigan in white or dark brown to be worn only
when needed for additional warmth and prescribed by the local uniform
o. Parka - Quilted parka in white or dark brown to be worn
only as prescribed with Class E or F dress uniforms.
p. Jeans - Camel or wheat beige to be worn only as pre scribed
with Class F uniform.
q. Umbrella - Gold or light brown to be carried with any class
uniform as needed for protection.
r. Hosiery - Beige neutral tone panty-hose or stockings are
required with all classes of uniform.
s. Rainhat Cover - Clear vinyl to fit hat size to be worn on
hard-brimmed hat for rain protection.
t. Nametag - Gold nametag to be worn with each class of
uniform above arrowhead patch. Should not be worn on parka, coat, or
u. Identification card - A USDI identification card shall be
carried by each person authorized to wear the dress uniform to identify
her as an employee of the National Park Service.
v. Jewelry - Simple pearl or gold earrings, and a watch may be
worn. Judicious use of the American Indian craftwork in silver and
turquoise is also permitted.
D. Women's Work Uniform
Consistent with the standards developed for a man's work uniform, the
new design for women's uniforms included a specific garment for women
employees where the wearing of the dress uniform would be clearly
inappropriate because of the nature of the duty assignment. The work
uniform serves the same basic purpose as the dress uniform in that it
identifies the wearer as an employee of the National Park Service and a
person from whom a visitor may obtain necessary service or
1. Work Uniform Items
The work uniform consists of the following items:
a. Domesticians work smock - tan, orange and white striped;
Kodel-cotton seersucker with full length zip per fly front; pocket and
sleeve self-trim; arrowhead patch to be sewn on right front bodice.
b. Shoes or boots - Here the emphasis is on comfort and
suitability to the duties; color should be beige or tan to light brown
to coordinate with the work smock.
c. Handbag - If carried, should be of matching leather in
winter or of fabric or straw in summer.
d. Scarf - Same scarf as prescribed for the Basic Dress
Uniform should be worn when needed as a head-covering.
e. Scarf Hat - May be worn optionally as prescribed with the
f. Coat - The beige poplin class-style coat with zip-in liner
as prescribed for the Dress Uniform should be worn when a top coat or
raincoat is needed. No other outer garment is authorized with the work
g. Sweater - White or dark brown cardigan may be worn when
needed for additional warmth.
h. Nametag - Gold nametag should be worn over the arrowhead
i. I.D. Card - A USDI identification card shall be carried by
each person authorized to wear the uniform to identify her as an
employee of the National Park Service.
j. The Class F Dress Uniform - without hat may be authorized
in limited situations where most of the duties occur outside in extreme
2. Who May Wear the Work Uniform
Any employee authorized by the Director, Director of a Region, or a
Superintendent may be authorized to wear the work uniform. Normally,
seasonal employees should not be so authorized unless their duties are
such as to make the
wearing of the uniform clearly advantageous.
Employees authorized to wear the dress uniform are automatically
authorized to wear the work uniform while performing duties
inappropriate for the dress uniform.
E. Women's Special Uniforms
1. Co-operating association employees in a park may be authorized to
wear the zip-up smock if identification with the Service is important to
their duties or part of their time is spent supplementing regular park
staff. It may also be worn as a maternity uniform or for seasonal
employees if prescribed by the Superintendent.
This item is listed as Supportive Personnel's Zip-up Smock. It has a
full-length front zipper. It is tan with white neckline, sleeve and
pocket trim. The fabric is 100 percent polyester faille.
2. Volunteer Personnel - Anyone assigned on a volunteer basis within
the park to public contact duties is authorized to wear the Pop-on.
The Pop-on is sleeveless with a back neck closing; in burnt orange
with white neckline and pocket trim; 100 percent polyester faille.
3. Lifeguards - The lifeguard uniform will be worn by all persons
assigned to lifeguard duties at beaches or pools operated by the
The uniform will consist of a one-piece classic swimming suit in
bright orange; bright orange nylon shell jacket; bright orange baseball
type cap. Swimming suit to be marked with standard American Red Cross
lifesaving emblem on lower left side of suit. Arrowhead patch should be
sewn on right top of jacket. Nametag should be above arrowhead
The nurse uniform will be worn by registered nurses while performing
nursing duties in any National Park Service facility.
The uniform will consist of the traditional white nurse uniform of
white dress, white cap, white stockings, and white shoes. The standard
gold National Park Service nametag will be worn on the right front of
the dress; small arrowhead patch on the left sleeve of the uniform.
A white or navy blue sweater may be worn. The traditional nurse's
navy blue cape may also be worn when weather conditions dictate.